Innovative biofertilizers boosting yield of cereals and horticultural crops under global climate change: Toward Sustainability of Agricultural systems against the Climate Change in arid zones
The FAO estimates a 34% increase in the world population by 2050. As a result, the productivity of important staple crops such as cereals and horticultural species needs to be boosted by an estimated 43%. Against the mosaic global climate change and shifting arable land ranges, plant and soil sciences play a primordial role in finding solutions to the internationally shared challenges of ensuring sustainable agricultural and biomass production. However, to effectively meet these challenges and demands, knowledge obtained from essential plant and soil sciences must be connected to innovative applications in agriculture and plant cultivation. Hence, sustainable biological practices such as biofertilizers (compost and microorganisms) that boost plant yield, quality or even novel functionality, and tolerance to abiotic stresses should be exploited to improve agricultural production.
For this purpose, this project addresses all aspects of the global food system by being good for the consumer, good for the planet and good for the farmer. By combining the complementary expertise of different research teams and companies from Morocco, France, Germany, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Japan, and Mexico, we aim at:
i) developing cultivation technologies verified and demonstrated in the field to tackle some challenges simultaneously, including food insecurity, malnutrition and other diet-related health issues, rural poverty, and mitigation of climate change,
ii) exploitation of beneficial indigenous microorganisms biofertilizers and agents to achieve sustainable and highly productive agriculture, and to mitigate climate change,
iii) recycling of green and agro-industrial waste into compost and biostimulants that can be reused in agriculture allowing the improvement of the soil fertility/functioning and crops yield, and
iv) understanding of the phenotypes and molecular traits of leading staple food crops (cereals and horticultural crops) under diverse environmental conditions.